May 14, 2021
Yes, it's dumb to project what the Eagles' roster will look like when we're only in May and the Birds have yet to conduct a single practice. Still, guessing on a 53-man roster does provide one way of looking at the roster in terms of camp battles to watch, as well as where the team is positionally strong (not many spots), and where it is weak (many spots).
So, what the hell? Since we're heading into the Eagles' rookie minicamp — AKA the first practice of the offseason — let's just do this.
Quarterback (2): Jalen Hurts, Joe Flacco
Hurts will start, and Flacco will back him up (duh). The Eagles also reportedly signed former Wake Forest and Georgia quarterback Jamie Newman as an undrafted free agent, and should be able to stash him on the practice squad while he develops behind the scenes.
Running back (5): Miles Sanders, Boston Scott, Kenny Gainwell, Kerryon Johnson, Jason Huntley
Running back is one of the Eagles' deeper positions, so they may as well keep a surplus of them. The bet here is that Johnson beats out Jordan Howard for a backup spot, and the team will hang onto Huntley because of his speed.
Wide receiver (7): DeVonta Smith, Jalen Reagor, Travis Fulgham, Greg Ward, Quez Watkins, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, John Hightower
The ages of those seven receivers above? 22, 22, 25, 25, 22, 24, and 24. In a normal season with a deeper roster, the Eagles couldn't keep this particular group of seven receivers, but because the roster is as bad as it is, there's room. Just keep them all and see if one of the disappointing guys can actually produce in a real game.
Tight end (3): Dallas Goedert, Richard Rodgers, Caleb Wilson
I still believe that Zach Ertz will be on another team this season. Also, we all know that DickRod will be back, right? As for TE3, throw a dart. Maybe Arcega-Whiteside can be TE3.
Offensive line (9): Jordan Mailata, Isaac Seumalo, Jason Kelce, Brandon Brooks, Lane Johnson, Landon Dickerson, Andre Dillard, Jack Driscoll, Nate Herbig
There's an outside chance the Eagles trade Dillard, but I wouldn't hold your breath. I also wouldn't be surprised if the Eagles kept 10 linemen, in which case I would have Matt Pryor or Sua Opeta making the team.
Defensive line (9): Brandon Graham, Fletcher Cox, Javon Hargrave, Derek Barnett, Josh Sweat, Milton Williams, Marlon Tuipulotu, Hassan Ridgeway, Tarron Jackson
The first six guys above are locks, while Tuipulotu, Ridgeway and Jackson will compete for roster spots and playing time. Here we have all three of those guys sticking. I applaud the Eagles for realizing what they are and seemingly going young along their DL depth instead of adding a 30-something or two.
Linebacker (6): Eric Wilson, Alex Singleton, T.J. Edwards, Davion Taylor, Shaun Bradley, JaCoby Stevens
Taylor and Bradley will get another chance to prove that they can play in this league after a COVID-wrecked offseason last year. We're going light at safety below, which would help a guy like Stevens, who could perhaps play a hybrid role. If the Eagles intend on developing Patrick Johnson into a traditional off-ball linebacker, they can probably stash him on the practice squad while he learns his new role. And then there's Genard Avery, who is moving from DE to LB, which will be a better fit for his skill set. He'll have the "advantage" of the Eagles wasting a fourth-round pick to acquire him at the 2019 trade deadline. If any LBs get injured, I would have him as the next guy in.
Cornerback (5): Darius Slay, Gareon Conley, Craig James, Avonte Maddox, Zech McPhearson
The Eagles are going to add a veteran corner at some point, right? I mean, right? If I have to guess on a logical option on the open market, Conley makes the most sense to me. Or maybe the Eagles are just waiting for more cuts around the league? Even if the Eagles understand that this season won't be one in which they contend for a Super Bowl, I can't imagine they'll go into the season with their depth at CB, as is.
Safety (4): Anthony Harris, Marcus Epps, K'Von Wallace, Grayland Arnold
Rodney McLeod will likely start the season on the PUP list, so he won't count toward the initial roster, and can serve as a reinforcement later in the season. Guys like Arnold, Andrew Adams, and Elijah Riley will fight it out for the final safety spot out of camp.
Specialists (3): Jake Elliott, Arryn Siposs, Rick Lovato
All of the Eagles' specialists are currently running unopposed.
PUP: Rodney McLeod
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